You know what this week feels like? It feels like a catch-up week. Like when you return from a trip and youre facing a huge stack of newspapers that you dont want to throw out because you want to catch-up on what happened while you were away. Well, while the world was going gaga over the iPhone and to a lesser extent, the Treo 750, a lot of news happened in and around the world of Treo. And since last weeks column was heavily slanted towards the big stories, this weeks will focus on what Ill call the best of the rest (or at least, some of the more interesting items of the rest). So without further ado, Lets Talk Treo!
Lets start with the lone press release issued by Palm this week. Its clear this is part of a concerted effort to show the Treos range of capabilities.
On Tuesday, Palm announced that technicians at Stanley Access Technologies are using Treo smartphones to install, calibrate and repair automated doors at hospitals, airports, hotels and restaurants. Initial adjustments are now performed quickly and electronically with a customized application that sets parameters for such things as door speed and force (Try that with an iPhone!).
"We're hearing more customers ask, 'What else can I do with my Treo smartphone besides phone calls and email?'," said Tim Roper, vice president, U.S. region, for Palm, Inc. "Getting to email is the first step. Then customers realize the productivity gains and how easy it is to customize their Treo smartphone to improve other areas of their business."
The release directs readers to Palm's enterprise solutions website. The page for Field Force Automation (FFA) is interesting.
Side note: Also, on that Site, youll see that Palm recommends the OtterBox for this type of Treo use.
Talkin Treo 750
It was a quieter week for the Treo 750. Perhaps all the 750 talk that happened last week (and the week before) has caused a lot of sore throats.
Review-Preview: CrunchGear Looks at Treo 750
Blake at CrunchGear has provided a bunch of 750 pictures to whet the appetite for an upcoming review hes working on. Now you might say been there, seen that! But look at it this wayits a refresher on the 750.
And Jimmie over at Gadgets on the Go says the 750 is screamin fast. Check it out!
Talkin Treo 680
It was quieter for the Treo 680 too.
The device is really beautiful. I love its shape and size and color. The screen is gorgeous and the sound on it is great. I can overlook the camera placement and get used to that, and I can get a replacement stylus. But right now the *battery issue * is really a problem for me. I truly hope that there is a fix on the way.
Alas, Jennifer isnt the only one suffering from battery problems with the Treo 680.
Andrew at Treonauts did some investigating and made some headway in getting an understanding of whats causing this problem. He writes:
It has therefore emerged that the Treo 680 battery meter not the battery itself or the power consumption of the smartphone is the real cause and Palm Technical Support has now provided a solution via a very simple battery reset.
If you encounter a poor battery life on your Treo 680 and you have to recharge very often even if not using the Phone function, the issue might have been caused by an incorrect first charging of the device.
It also includes a step-by-step fix thats worth a try.
Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More
With their HBH-610a, Sony Ericsson did a lot of things right, thinking out and simplifying the pesky pairing problem and brilliantly solving some of the annoyances of Bluetooth headsets. However, they missed the mark when it comes to size. The impressive headset is built petite, for smaller heads and ears.
This brings up an interesting point. Whats up with the marketing folks for Bluetooth headsets? Cant they come up with something more creative to name their product then a mash of letters and numbers strung together?
Sony Ericsson would probably score big points if they had called it: Le Petit Headset (or something along those lines). I mean, if you are going to go through the hoops of getting a product to market, you might as well take the extra step and give it a meaningful name.*
Here with the Sena Crocodile Skin weve got a very expensive case ($54.95) that doesnt seem to be quite up to the task. The fit is snug, but not perfect. The case doesnt look good with the Treo by itself. Only if you have other wardrobe accessories that match with this case should you get it. Otherwise, look elsewhere. Well, not really elsewhere, The TreoCentral store has so many cases its overwhelming.
Elsewhere in the World of Treo
Andrew at Treonauts checks out the innovative, Smartphone Experts SliderCase for the Treo 700p and 700w|wx. The SliderCase is a one-piece acrylic case that features an internal rubber grip for holding your Treo firmly in place. Plus it has a very cool snap-on protective screen and keyboard cover. He concludes:
The SliderCase is without a doubt the very best designed acrylic case that I have used to date one which answers most if not all of the complaints that previous models garnered while delivering a very cool set of unique innovations.
At SmartDeviceCentral, Jamie Lendino talks about another option for accessing your PC files and applications (such as Microsoft Outlook and Skype) from your phone. Rather than simply browsing your PC and retrieving or sharing files, SoonR lets you effectively take part of your PC with you. He notes:
SoonR offers some compelling advantages, notably the slick Outlook integration, the easy access to your documents, and the reasonably fast photo viewing. The Skype functional-ity is pretty pointless for now, but if you need to get files while you're away from your PC, and you don't mind leaving that PC on all the time, SoonR is tough to beat.
I came across this story in Jason OGradys Apple blog. He spoke enthusiastically about the SanDisk Ultra II SD Plus -- a combination SD (Secure Digital) memory card and portable USB drive. He writes, The Ultra II SD Plus is worth a look for anyone that carries a Treo smartphone or SD-equipped digital camera.
Well, Jason. Welcome to the party. TreoCentrals Harv Laser wrote a review of the SanDisk Ultra II SD Plus last February.
And while were on the subject of SD cards, the Windows Mobile Team Blog contains an informative piece that delves into things you may have wanted to know, but were afraid to ask, like capacity, speed and the basics of how a SD card works. Itll definitely fulfill your science quotient for the week.
Catching up on Last Weeks Bluetooth Announcements
Jabra, the world leader in innovative headset solutions, announced the launch of the ground-breaking Jabra BT8010 convertible Bluetooth stereo headset. The Jabra BT8010 is designed for consumers that demand a high-performance Bluetooth headset but also want the ability to adapt their headset into a fully functional Bluetooth stereo headset.
Nokia announced what their press release refers to as a new way to enhance your multimedia computer or mobile device with a range of lightweight and comfortable Bluetooth headsets. Changeable and wearable, the Nokia BH-301 Bluetooth Headset, the Nokia BH-201 Bluetooth Headset and the Nokia BH-100 Bluetooth Headset add comfort *and choice * to your wireless communications. The key differentiator appears to be (pun intended) the interchangeable covers.
Sony Ericsson has a new Bluetooth headset on the market for "when looking good is important" - the HBH-PV705 Style Edition. It can be worn in a number of in different ways. Hung round your neck on a beautiful necklace strap or kept at hand in a soft closeable pouch. It also comes with three different panels allow you to personalize the headset to match your outfit: black with an embossed floral pattern, white with purple floral detail and an elegant purple.
(Note: Perhaps I should have subtitled this section: Stylin with my Headset)
Now on to other news...
mdog.com, the leader in "mobilizing" websites, announced the landmark additions of eBay, craigslist, Wikipedia, Citysearch, and MySpace to their catalog of its mobile-accessible websites. mdog.com enables fast, free, Internet browsing on any mobile device. There's nothing to download - the browsing work is all handled remotely.
This week, SalesNexus, a leading provider of web-based contact management software and solutions, added a web-based contact management software program that allows wireless synchronization of contacts and calendar to Palm Treos, BlackBerry devices, Windows Mobile devices, any cell phone with an address book.
MocoNews writes that MSN is kicking off 2007 with the launch of its rather elaborate mobile site (in beta: http://beta.mobile.msn.com/) that includes both Windows Live Mail and search integration. This mobile site will also feature mobile versions of MSNBC.com and FoxSports.com. Its another one you can try out from your Treos browser.
Ed Hardy at Brighthand wrote a brief piece about iambics new Palm OS application launcher, called Propel, that allows users to open virtually anything on a Palm OS device using a keyword search. Propel also allows users to drag and drop applications into categories or favorites so they can more easily find what they're looking for.
Speaking of cool tools, Tamoggemon Software has just released the second version of the only memory card search program for Palm OS. The previous version of FileFind was praised for its powerful search engine and straightforward user interface. Version 2 offers Persistant Search Results which allow you to save results and return to them immediately (without searching again). An unlimited 14-day evaluation version can be downloaded at www.palmfilefind.com .
According to this story that appeared last Friday afternoon, Verizon Wireless has announced a planned SMS rate hike for its customers. Effective March 1, Verizon will raise the current pricing of text messages *from $.10 to $.15 per message * for those that have chosen to not subscribe to a message plan. Verizon will also charge $.15 for any international SMS messages received, a price increase of 5 cents, whether you are a message plan subscriber or not. Nice...
It didnt take long for some entrepreneurial developers to come up with iPhone-like interfaces for Windows Mobile and Palm OS mobile devices. And before you could blink (or click your mouse) Apples lawyers were on them like a hawk. Not a surprise, really
Endnotes & Ponderables:
Perhaps this could start a new trend in the fitness world. A blogger has just posted the results of his six-week experiment on the wii-kout
er wii workout program.
As you may have heard, the Nintendo wii has been earning all kinds of acclaim for its interactive interface thats got gamers (and non-gamers) moving. Boxing, golf and tennis are just a few of the sports you can actively play. To learn more, check out David Pogues piece and make sure you scroll down to read some of the 75 posted comments.
And if you really want to be amused, check out the wiihaveaproblem Site.
This makes me kind of glad that my Treo is being used for less strenuous activities.
Thats a wrap!